Social cleansing: Hundreds of families moved out of London boroughs immediately after Grenfell

"Between June 14th 2017 to July 14th 2017, 580 households (not including Grenfell survivors) were moved out of their local borough"
"Between June 14th 2017 to July 14th 2017, 580 households (not including Grenfell survivors) were moved out of their local borough"
Natalie Bloomer By

Hundreds of London families were shipped out of their local area in the four weeks immediately after the Grenfell fire, Freedom of Information requests reveal.

Responses from around half of all London local authorities show that between June 14th 2017 to July 14th 2017, 580 households (not including Grenfell survivors) were moved out of their local borough. 43 of those were sent to towns outside the capital.

The places people were sent included Watford, Hemel Hempstead, Maidstone and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.

Many campaigners had hoped that the tragedy at Grenfell would mark a change in attitudes towards social housing tenants.


A spokesperson from the Radical Housing Network, which is made up of more than 30 campaigns and works closely with the Grenfell Action Group said that it seems as if it's "business as usual" from London councils.

"It doesn't seem as if the tragedy at Grenfell has brought about any change in housing policy. Instead we are seeing business as usual, with the social cleansing of London continuing across the capital."

In recent years London councils have regularly been accused of "social cleansing" and of turning the capital into a city only for the rich.

A report by Green party London Assembly member Sian Berry revealed that even many of the city's police officers can't afford to live there, with around half living outside London. Berry told Politics.co.uk today that a shortage of affordable homes is pushing people out of the area.  

"Moving people away from their home boroughs means severing communities and making it more difficult for people to get to their jobs, their children's schools or even just visiting their friends. London is in dire need of more council homes so when people need to move they don't have to leave their entire lives behind."

The public inquiry into the causes of the Grenfell fire opened today amid concerns that the scope is not wide enough to include the broader social issues. 

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